Every year as a family we do something for a family in need. We adopt a family for Christmas through church, donate money to a charity, or serve as a family at a local food kitchen. This year I am totally embarrassed to say that the craziness of life got the best of us and we had nothing planned, well until Pampers contacted me. They asked me to help them find a family who could use a little extra grace this season. As I am dashing around store to store finding gifts for my family, my fortunate family in so many ways, worrying if I got Finn the right Lego set or Charles the right football, their are families, families with little kiddos just like them who are just praying they have enough money to pay the electric bill so the kids stay warm at night. They may also be hoping they have enough from their paycheck to feed the family on Christmas Day.
I had it all planned to find a veteran for Pampers to help, but then a trip to the grocery store changed everything. I was running around the grocery store like a crazy person…like I usually am when I stood in the canned veggie isle trying to choose between the 700 different types of green beans for my green bean casserole. The Nosey Rosie in me couldn’t help but over hear a couple (with a new baby) deciding they needed to put the canned beans back and wait until next paycheck. I heard her say, “ugh that chili was totally going to be the highlight of our Christmas but I guess it could be the highlight to our new year.” Her husband then joked “yeah we eat chili or the baby gets diapers and food.” They hugged, kissed, and then looked at the baby. I mean at this point they should have looked over at me at said “um lady…stare much?” But instead they put the beans back. Honestly I don’t remember much because I did it so fast but I pulled the gift card out of my purse, handed it to them, said Merry Christmas and ran away. I don’t know why I was so nervous, maybe I knew how I am and if I stayed I would have been so awkward they would have paid me to leave them alone…lol. I obviously have no pictures of the moment, nor do I know what their reaction was to me handing the card over but really it doesn’t matter. In the few moments I stalked their conversation, I saw two truly wonderful parents, totally in love, totally smart, confident, even happy despite their financial hardship. I knew this little act of kindness was going to be such a treasured gift to them.
Honestly this whole experience has made me rethink Christmas. I don’t want to steal the magic of Christmas from my five little humans but I really want to go back and make Christmas not about all the gifts but about love, family, community, spending time together, and giving the gift of peace to everyone family out there.